STEM Education is the need of the hour for the development of country in the technical sector. It transforms the users of technology into the innovators.
STEM Education i.e, the education of (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths) is a new concept in the Indian educational sector which leads in producing critical thinkers, problem solvers and next generation innovators.
Considering the fact that India is one of the countries that produces the highest number of scientists and engineers, STEM Education has picked up its growth in all the sectors in the last few years and it is unstoppable.
*In today’s world where technology is prioritised in all the sectors , the number of STEM jobs are increasing rapidly and outstripping the number of STEM graduates. According to the National Science Foundation, it is predicted that the 80% of the jobs created in the few next decades will require some form of math and science skills. Despite having the top quality talent and skills, the exam-focused pattern of education system has limited these students when it comes to innovation, critical thinking and creativity. This is where the STEM players staves off.
*According to the Research, it shows that children develop their interest in STEM field at an average age of eight . This is because they get fascinated by gadgets , technology and gizmos. But the leap from being a user to innovator rarely happens and even if it happens it is a very slow transition. The link between engineering-technology and entrepreneurship is evidently missing in India.
*Communication technology giant, Verizon, recently announced the winners of their annual Innovative Learning App Challenge, in which middle and high school students across the U.S. were challenged to develop mobile app concepts that solve a problem in their local communities. Promoting teamwork, critical thinking, problem-solving, STEM skills and coding, the app challenge attracted over 1,800 submissions, with awards available at state, regional and national levels.
It is essential that schools are provided with proper funding and tools to build STEM Education into their curriculum and bring it to practice in the classrooms to inspire the next generation coders. Since the last few years , STEM Education has been trying different innovative ideas to ensure that children are more inclined as well as interested towards the “Do it Yourself” DIY.
Though in India, it’s the beginning, still there’s a lot of innovation which is taking place with regard to STEM Education:
1.Many STEM companies are working with schools to help them set up STEM centres. tinkering labs with upcoming technologies like Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality.
2.The government is planning to help educational institutions upgrade the library infrastructures with more engaging learning assets and management tools, and implementing Learning Management Systems, gamification etc.
3.New ‘entry level’ coding devices are coming to market that provide schools with the ability to teach simple coding and bring STEM to life in the classroom.
* One of the biggest challenges involved in the implementation of STEM education is to design infrastructure, curriculum and support from both the parents and educational institutions.
* Another challenge could be to equip them with the best tools and computers , which is the basic aspects of STEM education.
*Investing in educating the ecosystem about the need for such programmes is one of the ways of overcoming these limitations. Many of the educators still think that if they will introduce their children to STEM Education, it will lead to divert their mind from the defined curriculum in stipulated time. The only way to make them aware and change their beliefs is to show them the positive effects of STEM Education.
Countries around the world are also adopting this model by introducing national curricula that set frameworks and projects which apply the STEM methodology. In the U.K., BBC developed the micro:bit, a small inexpensive codeable device linked to a rich environment that allows teachers to link STEM to real life problems. The U.K. rolled out the micro:bit project to one million children in 2016 and several other countries have followed including Singapore and Iceland.
Japan, for example, has already taken the first steps towards this methodology by introducing national STEM frameworks for 2020 and others are quickly joining as well.
Being the second most populated country in the world with immense talent and culture, India needs a combined support from government and educational institutions to avail the opportunity and development in this sector. Now with, Government of India also focusing on the campaigns such as ‘Make in India’ there is a focus on developing innovation and motivating people to do this right from the beginning of their education. This will be the right time for India to rise to the challenge and develop a culture of application-based learning and innovation among the schools, students, colleges, and teachers.